ABSTRACT

The publicly accessible discussion forum Cibervalle presents a virtual meeting point for Paraguayans in nearly all parts of the world. Due to its instable economic situation, Paraguay has been a ected by a continuing fl ow of migration, especially towards Argentina, the US, Spain and Japan. The Forum o ers users living abroad the opportunity to stay connected to their imagined home country or to reapproach it. Via the discussions in the Forum, one can receive current information about one’s region of origin and converse with fellow compatriots in one’s own language about topics that spring from a shared set of experiences. For many users, migration means a (temporary) loss of social relationships, familiar places and habits and, last but not least, a conversion into precarious living conditions. As migration is in many cases undocumented, one has limited access to citizens’ rights and is susceptible to exploitation and violence. In this situation, characterized by transition, isolation and risks, the Forum-frequently called “the window to Paraguay”—o ers its users cultural continuity, social community and mutual solidarity. For the users resident in Paraguay, the Forum does indeed have the function of a window to the world, presenting them with views of di erent ways of living and with the opportunity to extend their knowledge and their horizons, as well as the opportunity to prepare themselves for possible migrational ventures.